Chimneys that are not regularly swept can cause serious and very dangerous problems
Carbon monoxide (the silent killer) can build up if chimney’s are not swept regulary
- There can be a build-up of Carbon monoxide
- What is carbon monoxide- why is it a problem?
- What preventative measures can I take against carbon monoxide exposure?
- Does HSE recommend the use of carbon monoxide alarms?
- What are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?
- How do I know if I am at risk from carbon monoxide?
- Further information and advice.
What is carbon monoxide- why is it a problem?
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless, tasteless, poisonous gas produced by incomplete burning of carbon-based fuels, including gas, oil, wood and coal. Carbon-based fuels are safe to use. It is only when the fuel does not burn properly that excess CO is produced, which is poisonous. When CO enters the body, it prevents the blood from bringing oxygen to cells, tissues, and organs.
You can’t see it, taste it or smell it but CO can kill quickly without warning. maintained or that are poorly ventilated. Levels that do not kill can cause serious harm to health if breathed in over a long period. In extreme cases paralysis and brain damage can be caused as a result of prolonged exposure to CO. Increasing public understanding of the risks of CO poisoning and taking sensible precautions could dramatically reduce this risk.
Your chimneys and flues must be swept annually.
(Information taken from HSE and other Government Bodies)
Chimneys should be swept at least once a year, depending on use. Where logs are used the chimney should be swept twice a year. Some signs of a chimney fire are red-hot particles falling from the chimney into the hearth, a roaring fire in the chimney or a chimney breast too hot to touch. If a chimney fire is not dealt with promptly it may spread to the rest of the house.
If you suspect a chimney fire, call the Fire Service immediately. Some people believe the Fire Service charge to attend chimney fires – this is not true!